Monday Top 4 from my Feedreader

by bicyclemark

Rainy days ahead in Amsterdam. The Red August has been properly covered so hopefully nor rain nor empty beer bottles will find their way into the boat. But nevermind that… there’s a whole world going on out there.

Instead of starting a conversation about the very peculiar situation with just who is leading the Polish government now, I instead refer you to the Beatroot and all his hard work. If there were a poll (pun intended) about what EU country was the wackiest, Poland would have to be a strong contender for 1st place, things never seem to go as planned over there.

In keeping with the recommended reading rundown for today, I threw my hat into the discussion on Majikthise, where L is talking about Roman Polanski and whether people should support the work of someone who’s done something morally questionable. This theme has been discussed on this blog before, but she’s got a big comment debate raging over there. I used “if Hitler had been a great painter” as a hypothetical example… go read or participate if you’re curious.

And in staying with the world of art meets politics, the talented Tim of Radio Clash dedicated a show to Joe Strummer… and myself! Talk about unworthy, it was very cool to see my name in that context – go listen. Thanks Tim!

Not Quite Part of the Union

by bicyclemark

ams0406210

Since yesterday was not-one-immigrant day in the US, today might be a good time to talk about something related here on the communique.

As many of you may remember fondly, it was only 2 years ago yesterday that Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, became new members of big blue. Yes, those were exciting times that resulted in a Union of 460 millon people and an economic powerhouse of sorts. Maybe more important, for us regular people, was that being a citizen of the EU meant that you now had certain universal rights in all member states: to work, live, travel, do all kinds of activities – anywhere within the 25 member states. As a person who’s entire adult life has been shaped by these rights, I was naturally very pleased that more people would be able to experience what I have experienced as a Portuguese/European citizen.

Unfortunately, as is the case with so many politicized issues, certain countries (Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, Netherlands, UK, France, etc.) fairly quietly put an asterix onto the addition of the new EU states. This extra clause involved limiting or flat out preventing new EU citizens from places like Poland or Slovakia, from exercising their right to free movement and seeking employment within their national borders. Complete with extensions for these provisions, some of which expired this year, as in the case of the UK. Others which carry on and have been open-ended extended, as in the shameful case of the Netherlands.

In other words they may say the new Eastern European Nations are part of the EU. They may even show up to ceremonies, shake hands, and pose for photos with officials from that member state. But they don’t actually respect or honor the rights that membership entitles all citizens, including their own. So next time anyone starts talking highly of the big EU countries, or the Netherlands, make sure you remind them of the xenophobic, underhanded, and perhaps even racist policy of the sitting government that for some mysterious reason – people still haven’t forced to resign.

Public Internet My Arse

by bicyclemark

The public internet spot I’m sitting in claims to have wi-fi. What I’ve discovered is that it is one big tease…. 10 minutes of wi-fi and then it drops you… repeat over and over… madness. My podcast will have to be posted from the McDonalds parking lot.. strangely enough the only wi-fi hot spot in this city for the last 3 years. – This is truely old europe, the computers in this place are gigantic.

Here’s a photo.

Now go read the Beatroot, over in Poland.

bicyclemark85: CIA Prisons and Torture Airlines

by bicyclemark

Radio Journalist and Blogger Peter Gentle joins me from Warsaw, to discuss the talk about CIA gulags and where these prisons might and might not be. We also get into the role of Europe has a landing pad for the torture flights, etc.

AudioCommunique #85(mp3)
31min+, 80kbps, 17Mb+

Discussed:

The Beatroot – blogjournalism
Radio Polonia
unnamed sources and the washingtonpost
Not in Poland, but could be anywhere – especially Baku
torture flights
EU will try to do something, but will it result?
Poland’s Role in the War and their Dependency on the US
Intolerance for freedom and openess at home vs. tolerance for torture and killing abroad

oh and I recommended Saskia Nation and Radio Clash – the Anniversary Show

Music:

Outlandish – Guantamo
Boards of Canada – (some background tune)
Jets to Brazil – air traffic control
Vinicius Cantuaria – India